In today's first reading from Acts 16, we read the story of Lydia, a woman who opened her heart and her home to Jesus through the words of St. Paul. In our Gospel reading from John 15-16, Jesus talks about falling away.
Jesus says, "I have told you this so that you may not fall away. They will expel you from the synagogues; in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God."
Jesus warned His disciples again and again what would befall them as believers. All but one of the Apostles were martyred. People have endured immense suffering and death rather that fall away. I'll bet you know a "fallen away" Catholic. Shoot, I was one for many years. I suppose people fall away for many reasons; most likely nothing nearly as severe as what Jesus foretold. Whatever their reasons, maybe now is a good time for us to reach out to our fallen away brothers and sisters and invite them back.
Father, give us the grace to reach out to our fallen away relatives and friends and let them know Christ's Church anxiously awaits their return. Amen.
Thank you for your comments and prayers. I will check out these resources, much appreciated!
This is for Rich Bartollota. I recommend the excellent book ‘Return, How to draw your child back to the church’ by Brandon Voght.
Your family is in my prayers Rich.
I’ve heard this is a good resource…
Gus, My two grown children ‘have fallen away’ from our Church. I’m looking for any books that would be helpful for me to find ways to ‘bring them back’. My wife and I try our best to model the way in our actions but I feel much more is needed. Hoping you might have some thoughts on this topic and suggestions for us that are relevant. Thanks, Rich